Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Systematic Theology

First Advisor

Joel Okamoto

Scripture References in this Resource

John 20:27-28; 1 John 1:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:1-8; 1 Cor. 15:11; Rom. 1:4; Rom. 10:17; Luke 24:36-40; 1 Cor. 15:17; Rom. 8:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:20; 2 Cor. 4:13; Acts 2:42; John 6:40; Col. 2:9; John 1:18; John 6:46; 1 Tim. 6:16


Westby, Charles W. “How Speech Act Theory Can Help Address Problems in Theology and Church Posed by Modern Philosophy.” Ph.D. diss., Concordia Seminary, 2022. 347 pp.

This dissertation analyzes modern idealism as developed by René Descartes and Immanuel Kant to show how modern philosophy has impacted conservative theology, focusing on the theology of Carl F. H. Henry. The relationship between theology and philosophy is analyzed in terms of foundationalism, using postliberal theological analysis propounded by Hans Frei and George Lindbeck. Speech Act Theory as propounded by J. L. Austin and John R. Searle is used to critique modern idealism in supporting a taxonomy of the Gospel derived from the NT. Speech Act Theory is also used to marginalize reductive scientific explanations in theology; to provide a critique of the representative theory of sense perception in favor of direct realism; to aid theology in overcoming the fact-value split; and to address the issues of historicity, the nature of divine revelation, and the nature of theological language.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.